Mold like Aspergillus...
Destructive for food production
Fungi are destructive agents causing losses of agricultural commodities in many zones of the world, ranking alongside insects and weeds for crop loss or yield reduction. They can occur on growing in-field crops as well as harvested commodities, leading to damage ranging from rancidity, odour, flavour changes, loss of nutrients, and germ layer destruction. This can result in a reduction in the quality of grains, as well as gross spoilage and possible mycotoxin production. Fungi are often referred to as moulds in this context, to differentiate them from single celled yeasts.
Dangerous for your health
Aspergillus is one of the most common fungi and, unlike many fungi, can be found throughout the world in outdoor and indoor environments. Microbiologists have identified over 200 species of aspergillus, a number of which can affect human health in a very serious way. Aspergillus is known to cause a variety of invasive lung diseases, lesions of the lung, sinuses and ear and corneal disease in healthy persons and can lead to liver failure in diabetics. Aspergillus is unique among fungi as many aspergillus species can grow at body temperature; for this reason, ‘fungal balls’ can form in the lungs, organs and intestines of humans. Some species of aspergillus produce potent toxins that can withstand environmental elements that destroy most other toxins, therefore, aspergillus has been researched by the United Nations special commission overseeing the elimination of weapons of mass destruction.1 Due to the large number of patients treated in the U.S. for diseases caused by aspergillus2, medical professionals regard it as being more influential on human health than stachybotyrs, the fungi commonly known as ‘black mold’.
Protecting people from particles as small as 2.5 microns; 3) aspergillus spores are dry and small, easily become airborne, and very high counts are often detected in indoor air samples. Additionally, many environmental investigators rely on spore traps analyzed under a microscope to gather data on indoor air quality. This is a flawed method as aspergillus spores appear identical to another fungal type, penicillium, when analyzed using microscopy.3 Probably the most alarming fact is that aflatoxin, which is produced by very common species of aspergillus, is a known carcinogen, the effects of which manifest themselves after many years. Therefore, exposure to aspergillus may not cause noticeable health effects until years later.